2013 Reds / Reds - General / World Baseball Classic

Votto to play in WBC [Update]

According to John Fay, JoeyMVP has decided to play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

Joey Votto will play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. He will join the team Wednesday. He won’t play against the Reds in Wednesday’s game.

Look here for updates later.

UPDATE: Mark Sheldon has this quote from Votto:

“I look forward to playing for the team,” Votto said. “I look forward to being a part of the tournament. I had a great time the last time. I’m very grateful I’m on the team. It’s not very often you get to represent your country in a big tournament like this. I never got to play in the Olympics, this is the next best thing.”

Sheldon adds this:

Votto said he received support to play from the Reds, including CEO Bob Castellini. He expects to play at first base and DH, splitting time with Twins 1B Justin Morneau.

My quick reaction to this is generally positive. I don’t think Votto would risk playing in the WBC if he was feeling any pain or hesitation with his knee. He’s been hitting well so far this spring, including a powerful opposite-field home run. Maybe it’s time to move past thinking about his injury last year.

Thoughts?

27 thoughts on “Votto to play in WBC [Update]

  1. I see zero positives in any Red playing in this pointless tournament. Players need to be in camp, not wasting time in a Bud Selig pet project.

    • I see zero positives in any Red playing in this pointless tournament.Players need to be in camp, not wasting time in a Bud Selig pet project.

      What does Joey Votto need spring training for? He’s taking batting practice from a bunch of guys hoping to make AAA rosters. This is the same thing, only the players are taking it more seriously than meaningless spring training games. If you’re against Joey playing in this, you should probably be against him playing in split-squad games in Arizona too.

    • I see zero positives in any Red playing in this pointless tournament.Players need to be in camp, not wasting time in a Bud Selig pet project.

      Amen

  2. I don’t really see how this would be much more different than playing in spring training games for the Reds. I can’t imagine Canada will be cavalier with his playing time or health.

    • I don’t really see how this would be much more different than playing in spring training games for the Reds. I can’t imagine Canada will be cavalier with his playing time or health.

      That’s what I was thinking. I am VEHEMENTLY against pitchers, especially starting pitchers, taking part in the tournament. But really all this is going to do is give Joey more AB’s in actually competitive games than he would get in Goodyear. I doubt he’s going to be doing a whole lot of base stealing or sliding. Everyone kept saying that his knee was fine but that he was still a little nervous about it – hopefully knocking a few homers out during some real games will get that out of his head.

  3. The winner of the Face of MLB Competition (or whatever it was) gets to publicly represent his country, yay. I’m fine with it. I know many fans are skeptical about his knee and won’t believe that he’s healthy until he starts hitting major league pitching (of course his good hitting in spring training doesn’t count, it’s spring training!) – I think the WBC is the only way for Votto to convince people before April 1st that he’s totally healthy.

    I wonder who will play 1b for the Reds in his absence – Jack Hannahan and Neftali Soto should be thrilled. I wonder who else will see time there, maybe Henry Rodriguez? Donald Lutz? Or one of the catchers?

  4. Pingback: Votto of Confidence - Unofficial Network

    • I think the best players should forego the WBC, spring training and all regular season games so they won’t get hurt.

      Your English professor at Iowa would give you an A+ for the use of irony, Jared. Well done.

    • @Steve Mancuso: They blocked Johnny Cueto from playing in the WBC and I’m under the impression they COULD have done the same thing with Joey Votto, right? I find it reassuring that they felt Votto was able to compete.

      I think the best players should forego the WBC, spring training and all regular season games so they won’t get hurt.

      Totally, Joey Votto should relax on a couch in Canada until the 2013 playoffs start. He can be the Reds’ secret weapon.

  5. If the knee isn’t an issue, then I don’t see the harm in Votto being with Team Canada for part of Spring Training. If anything, it lets other players get some time at 1B and helps the organization evaluate other 1B options. It’s not like Votto needs to practice playing with the other infielders or getting used to Jay Bruce in RF.

    The crazy, insane, worrier inside me wonders if there’s a risk he could push the knee too hard playing aggressively too early and re-injure it. I hope – dear God – that the Reds checked with the medical staff, surgeons etc. about the risks and didn’t just take the player’s word for it that he feels OK. Not that they’d ever do that.

  6. Of course, here’s Dusty Baker, fueling my concern that they are just leaving this up to Votto. Per Fay:

    “If he’s OK, I’m for his decision,” Baker said. “If he’s not OK, he’s not going to say he’s OK.”

    Baker knows the pressure Votto was under to play.

    “Joey is the top man in Canada as far as baseball is concerned,” Baker said. “He’s a national treasure. You want to be able to always go home. . . Joey’s the main man in his country. If he was older, maybe the next time, if you’ve got more aches and pains, maybe he’d get a pardon.”

    Of course, Baker undermined his own claim that Votto wouldn’t say he was OK if he wasn’t. I mean, not only is The Horror of last June/July evidence against that, but Baker himself says being a “national treasure” that “you want to be able to always go home.”

    Sheesh.

  7. @Steve Mancuso: My momma says that alligators are ornery because they got all them teeth and no toothbrush.

    I’ve said all these things before but the subject is up again:

    1) Players should be proud to represent their country.

    2) I liken the WBC more to the All-Star game (than to spring training) in that regard; you’ve been selected and it’s doing a favor to your fans. Or, in any other industry, “customers.”

    3) Playing the game of baseball is not stressful on the body. I don’t buy that any healthy player (who isn’t a pitcher or Scott Rolen) ever needs a day off. The chance of injury is greater when you play than not, but only while you’re playing. No cumulative effects.

    4) I never heard of anyone complaining about Michael Jordan playing in the Olympics.

    What I learned from Ken Griffey Jr. is that you’re no worse off playing a game of baseball than wrestling with your kids.

  8. @redsfanman: Yes, they blocked Cueto and could have blocked Votto. In general, distinguishing between pitchers (where you have to worry so much about managing their arms all season long) and position players sounds smart. I agree that Votto playing for Canada is reassuring – up to the point of whether you can trust Votto to say whether or not he feels 100%. I’d also want to know if the Reds consulted with medical experts about whether there is added re-injury risk from Votto pushing it to the limit too early, say March 6 instead of March 20.

    • @redsfanman: Yes, they blocked Cueto and could have blocked Votto. In general, distinguishing between pitchers (where you have to worry so much about managing their arms all season long) and position players sounds smart. I agree that Votto playing for Canada is reassuring – up to the point of whether you can trust Votto to say whether or not he feels 100%. I’d also want to know if the Reds consulted with medical experts about whether there is added re-injury risk from Votto pushing it to the limit too early, say March 6 instead of March 20.

      Actually I’m not sure they could have blocked Votto from playing even if they wanted to. They were able to block Cueto because he finished the season on the DL. I’m not even sure if that’s a clause in everyone’s contract or just special to Cueto’s. They certainly could have ASKED Votto not to play and he very well might have agreed, but I’m not sure they had any other authority over his decision.

  9. @redsfanman: I don’t think they could have blocked Votto. The reason they were allowed to block Cueto is because Cueto ended the season on the DL (because he was deactivated during the NLDS to bring up Leake). Votto didn’t. They could have very strongly recommended he not play, and I would imagine Votto would have complied with that, but they couldn’t have blocked him.

  10. I don’t get the “Well, if Votto says is he healthy, then I trust him!” argument. He said that same thing about the All-star Game last year too. That worked out smashingly.

  11. Maybe it’s a silly assumption on my part but I suspect that Dr Timothy Kremchek and the trainers were consulted before determining Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto’s status for the WBC. I thought both players passed detail physicals at the start of spring training. If it makes people feel better to assume the doctor and trainers were ignored and Joey Votto is fleeing town without their approval… oh well.

    http://www.beaconortho.com/Physicians/Kremchek.aspx
    You can try calling his office?

  12. Whether the Reds could have officially blocked Joey Votto vs sat him down and talked to him about how they didn’t want him to play, either way I think Jocketty, Dusty, and the Reds could have talked him out of it if they wanted to. I think they could have convinced him. In the end they didn’t confront him or tell him not to play, they therefore implied that they were fine with him playing.

  13. If we all played at that level I’m sure we would give anything to get to represent our country. Especially considering there is no baseball in the Olympics. JV is smart. He obviously wouldn’t risk re-injuring his knee if it wasn’t 100%. Be happy for the guy and enjoy seeing someone else at 1B in meaningless games.

  14. At first, as a baseball fan, I didn’t get people against Joey Votto participating in the WBC. Why wouldn’t they want the rest of the world to see one of the best hitters on the planet? I understand the worries about injuries, but are the risk of injuries any greater than spring training? Players get hurt every day in spring training, for seemingly little rhyme or reason (see Curtis Granderson).

    Then I thought about it a little more and I suppose I get it: If you are just a Reds fan, rather than a fan of the sport itself (or a MLB only fan), this is an entirely logical position. Keep Joey locked in a cage in Goodyear, free from Japanese pitchers and their nasty trick pitches. Some Reds fans are Smeagol & Joey is their “preciousssss”.

    For me, the baseball fan > Reds fan. Baseball has a long tradition of fun, ultimately meaningless exhibition games. Spread the game throughout the world. For baseball’s sake, I’d like to see a final game with USA versus Venezuela. :D

  15. @CP: Nice! I like the Smeagol/ring-Votto comparison. I think the Canadians are like Smeagol though, wanting – or needing- to acquire the precious. As Reds fans we’re Sauron, and the ring belongs to us. MLB fans are like the people of Gondor, who greedily want to use the ring for their own nefarious purposes.

  16. @WVRedlegs: Sure it can.
    -more playing time for other guys like Donald Lutz, Neftali Soto, and Jack Hannahan
    -more recognition for the Reds’ star player
    -Joey Votto can prove that he’s healthy before April 1st
    -Joey Votto can lead team Canada to a shocking victory over Brandon Phillips’ Team USA

  17. Last time Votto played in the WBC he was only known in Cincinnati. 2009 was a great season for him and it was his first great season. Provided he doesn’t get hurt by playing more innings than he would in camp, it could provide a great way to kick off his season.

  18. I’m feeling good about Votto’s decision and the Reds’ support for that decision. Votto’s comments regarding his knee and the 2nd surgery and rehab he had to endure also makes me feel good about his decision. I think Votto learned an invaluable lesson last season. Even as an elite athlete, he is not invinsible and if he wants to play as the elite athlete he is, he must protect his health. Votto certainly wants to play at an elite level. Have fun and enjoy the experience Joey. We look forward to you leading the Reds to a resounding victory over the Big Name, Big Contract Angels on April 1st.

  19. “He expects to play at first base and DH, splitting time with Twins 1B Justin Morneau.”

    Pretty good platoon there. Bet the Twins are happy Joey committed.

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